Statement re An Bord Pleanala’s planning decision

Galway Hospice was today informed that An Bord Pleanala has overturned Galway City Councils decision to grant planning permission for the development of a new 36 bedded hospice at Merlin Park.  The hospice is extremely disappointed at the decision as it has spent almost 10 years looking for a suitable site for the new hospice before securing planning permission from the City Council for the site at Merlin Park.

The site at Merlin Park was an ideal location for the development of a new hospice as while it was on the hospital grounds it was situated away from the main hospital campus.  The location would have allowed for ease in transferring vulnerable hospice patients who are receiving treatment and for other support services for the hospice including Xrays, scans, blood testing, analysis and pharmacy support services.  The location has plenty of green space and provided the correct environment for people staying at or visiting a hospice which is extremely important and encourages well-being. A home-like environment with facilities for family members, with access to outside space and gardens, would have provided a calm peaceful environment for both patients and their families. The Merlin Park site met all these requirements and combined with the close proximity to the acute hospital made it an ideal location ideal for the new Hospice.

The demand for hospice services has increased significantly in recent years, in both the in-patient and home-care services and this demand is expected to continue to increase for the foreseeable future. The new hospice at Merlin Park was intended to allow for the treatment of a larger volume of patients, providing them with the highest standard of care in the time when they need it most.  The current hospice site at Renmore is no longer capable of meeting current and projected future demands for palliative care services.

The hospice Board will now take time to review An Bords Pleanala’s decision and is committed to, if necessary sourcing an alternative site to ensure that the vital services that the hospice provides are available to the people of Galway when they need them.  Galway Hospice is a community organisation and would not exist had it not been for the longstanding support it has received from the people of Galway who over the past 30 years who have donated over €35m to the hospice.  Speaking about An Bord Pleanala’s decision, Chief Executive of the Galway Hospice Foundation Mary Nash said “The hospice will continue with its plans for a new hospice to ensure it is there to provide first class palliative care services and support to patients and their families at a very vulnerable time in their lives”

Further information:

Mary Nash, CEO Galway Hospice 091 770868

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